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03-08-2014, 08:46 AM   #1
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K30 quality please help

I have a k30 and its been with me for almost a year now...its been great.. I am also been watchng photos of k30 pics on flickr... Ive seen a lot of shots where the foreground is properly exposed without having the sky blown out. I believe its captured on a sunny daylight, i have been wanting to capture such shots but all im getting is either the subject is underexposed and the sky propery exposed or vice versa...i know i can cook in raw but i dont want the images to look like hdr~ish... Can someone give me some tips how to achieve it?

03-08-2014, 08:55 AM   #2
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About the only way to capture what you're wanting in one shot is to use a graduated neutral density filter to knock down the sky somewhat. However, HDR is MUCH better in achieving the same thing. There's no law that says you have to take it to extremes, btw. My personal opinion is that HDR is like make-up on a woman. As soon as you notice it's there, you've gone too far. If you'd post some of the pics you're wanting to emulate, maybe we could tell you if they're HDR, graduated filter, one shot, etc...
03-08-2014, 09:24 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by rp_dxn Quote
I have a k30 and its been with me for almost a year now...its been great.. I am also been watchng photos of k30 pics on flickr... Ive seen a lot of shots where the foreground is properly exposed without having the sky blown out. I believe its captured on a sunny daylight, i have been wanting to capture such shots but all im getting is either the subject is underexposed and the sky propery exposed or vice versa...i know i can cook in raw but i dont want the images to look like hdr~ish... Can someone give me some tips how to achieve it?
All cameras have issues capturing scenes with high dynamic ranges, such as the kind you're talking about. There are three ways to deal with it. The first is to stack images, where you take one photo exposed for the sky, one for the ground, and then you combine them in post-processing. The second way is to use a filter (neutral density, graduated neutral density, or circular polarizer) to keep the sky from blowing out while you expose for the foreground. The third way is to lighten the foreground of the photo in post-processing. I too have a K30, and I believe the camera's sensor allows you a lot of leeway when it comes to "cooking" a photo in post.

Best of luck!
03-08-2014, 10:15 AM   #4
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One trick is to use Photomatix ($39 for the minimal Essentials version). You can take a single image and get Photomatix to do its best for you, or alternately, the system I use is to create a one stop underexposed copy and a one stop over exposed copy in Lightroom, and then merge the two in Photomatix.

I have not tried the Lightroom HDR yet.
You do not need any exterior editing software to use Photomatix. If you take only JPEG, Photomatix will tone map it for you. I haven't tried this myself, but they claim it works well. I always shoot RAW, myself.

03-08-2014, 10:45 AM   #5
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I uploaded a few pictures I took yesterday before/after PP. I used a 3 stop ND gradient handheld in front of a K17mm fisheye. The PP is a little over the top but you can see how much shadow and highlight recovery you can do in post. Unfortunately, I deleted the photos without the ND grad filter. Without the filter, either the sky was blown out or the ground was black. The alternative is to merge photographs in photoshop, but I personally rather take one shot with a filter.

Basically, use a grad ND filter, merge photographs of different exposures, adjust exposures in photoshop, or (most likely) combine these techniques.
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03-08-2014, 06:21 PM   #6
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The simple solution I'd use (I'm a simpleton, lol) is to use a polarizer, shoot in Raw+Jpeg, underexpose a third stop if needed to avoid highlight blowout, then up the shadow-correction as needed to fill in the dark areas. I've noticed more with my K-30 (vs my old K-x) that if there's some bright parts of a scene, ie. a white-ish building or something, or I want white clouds against a blue sky; I seem to get best results underexposing slightly. It's much easier to up shadows, if underexposed than to dial back overexposed highlights.

Here's a good example (white sign on building: -3ev, polarized, no post-processing): Glen Rose, Texas | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
03-09-2014, 02:07 AM   #7
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Expose for the highlights recover the shadows in post
03-09-2014, 05:00 AM   #8
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I would like to thank you guys for the responses... To be more accurate, please check this samlpe photo ive seen on Flickr, i do believe one doesnt use an ND grad flter to produce this photo. This is just a simple photo, but i like the DR..

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8516/8540353016_9dcf11ea9a_b.jpg
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8162/7705936502_1a2b402caf_b.jpg

i tried underexposing the subject as well while properly exposing the sky to recover shadow, but it looks kinda hdrish photo which im not a fan of..


Last edited by rp_dxn; 03-09-2014 at 05:57 AM.
03-09-2014, 06:01 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by rp_dxn Quote
I would like to thank you guys for the responses... To be more accurate, please check this samlpe photo ive seen on Flickr, i do believe one doesnt use an ND grad flter to produce this photo. This is just a simple photo, but i like the DR..

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8516/8540353016_9dcf11ea9a_b.jpg

i tried underexposing the subject as well while properly exposing the sky to recover shadow, but it looks kinda hdrish photo which im not a fan of..
I agree with you - that photo doesn't seem to have any filter help. But it was also shot rather late in the day (see the shadow of the roof of the main building between the two trees?) and the sun itself was probably behind a cloud, judging from how the shadow isn't sharp. So right away, the photographer was working with late, diffused sun, which I think helped illuminate the shadows while not overpowering the blue of the sky. Maybe I've missed the mark, but it reminds me of one of my own photos that had similar light (shadows on my photo fall in the same direction):



Would you mind posting an example of a photo you've taken that you're having trouble with? That might help us diagnose the problem. If you posted a RAW, maybe someone could show you a post-processing method that wouldn't have that HDR look.
03-09-2014, 07:40 AM   #10
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Wow Thank you!! So time would be a factor... here is another photo i love.. please check...

Untitled | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Can someone share their PP technique how to get this look with only one shot? if ts ok... Thank you SO much for all the responses!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
03-09-2014, 01:51 PM   #11
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Looks like a composite to me, And there's no EXIF for that image, further supporting 'composite'.
03-09-2014, 11:37 PM   #12
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If shooting JPG, the menu option 'Highlight Correction' will give you about a stop extra leeway at avoiding blown skies. RAW is better as others have said, but the RAW converter used can make a big difference; ACR's HC is much better than Silkypix Pro for instance.
03-10-2014, 06:44 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by rp_dxn Quote
Wow Thank you!! So time would be a factor... here is another photo i love.. please check...

Untitled | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Can someone share their PP technique how to get this look with only one shot? if ts ok... Thank you SO much for all the responses!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I can only guess at what someone else did to get that photograph. I can tell you for the one I posted above (my own), it's one-shot that was taken at the right time of day and has minimal post-processing outside of boosting saturation and contrast.

Since I still don't know exactly what you're having problems with, I can only tell you what I'd do in a situation where a foreground is too dark. First I would expose for the sky while I was in the shooting environment. Once I got home, I'd put the photo in Lightroom, where I do all my post-processing, and bring up the shadows, mess with the tone curve, and see if that's enough. If it's not, I might try a gradient filter or the brush in Lightroom to bring up the exposure of the foreground.

I wrote a tutorial of processing a photo similar to this issue (but not exactly) on my blog years ago. Here's the post: How to Use the Brush and Gradient Safely | A SCENIC WORLD

Best of luck!
03-12-2014, 05:06 AM - 1 Like   #14
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One thing not mentioned is the use of the scene mode called Blue Sky. I've experimented with it and it has worked well you might give this a try.

Just move the mode dial to scene and select blue sky.
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